Everyone has their favorite teen books or books they read as a kid, but those don’t always make great book club choices. The perfect book club book is a combination of engrossing, thought-provoking, and unique. Today I’ll cover a few of my favorite choices for book discussions with teens. These discussions can take place in a library or school setting.
Goodreads summary: Ryan Dean West is a fourteen-year-old junior at a boarding school for rich kids in the Pacific Northwest. He’s living in Opportunity Hall, the dorm for troublemakers, and rooming with the biggest bully on the rugby team. And he’s madly in love with his best friend Annie, who thinks of him as a little boy.
With the help of his sense of humor, rugby buddies, and his penchant for doodling comics, Ryan Dean manages to survive life’s complications and even find some happiness along the way. But when the unthinkable happens, he has to figure out how to hold on to what’s important, even when it feels like everything has fallen apart.
Filled with hand-drawn info-graphics and illustrations and told in a pitch-perfect voice, this realistic depiction of a teen’s experience strikes an exceptional balance of hilarious and heartbreaking.
Winger is particularly great for book clubs because it is literally laugh out loud hilarious. Your readers will be telling you stories of getting in trouble for reading it in class and laughing during lectures. Girls will love the book because it gets them inside a boy’s head, and boys will love the book because it’s authentic and a little vulgar.
Goodreads summary: A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs.
A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.
A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.
The first book in the Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series is a fantastic book club choice simply because of its unique format. The photographs are great discussion pieces! The fact that a movie was released in 2016 is also a great bonus because you can tie in a movie program with the book club.
Goodreads summary: Metaltown, where factories rule, food is scarce, and hope is in short supply.
The rules of Metaltown are simple: Work hard, keep your head down, and watch your back. You look out for number one, and no one knows that better than Ty. She’s been surviving on the factory line as long as she can remember. But now Ty has Colin. She’s no longer alone; it’s the two of them against the world. That’s something even a town this brutal can’t take away from her. Until it does.
Lena’s future depends on her family’s factory, a beast that demands a ruthless master, and Lena is prepared to be as ruthless as it takes if it means finally proving herself to her father. But when a chance encounter with Colin, a dreamer despite his circumstances, exposes Lena to the consequences of her actions, she’ll risk everything to do what’s right.
In Lena, Ty sees an heiress with a chip on her shoulder. Colin sees something more. In a world of disease and war, tragedy and betrayal, allies and enemies, all three of them must learn that challenging what they thought was true can change all the rules.
An enthralling story of friendship and rebellion, Metaltown will have you believing in the power of hope.
Metaltown is a stand-alone novel that has a wealth of resources designed to accompany it. There are discussion guides and questions for classes, and the author loves to do classroom or Skype visits. If you’re looking for a book that hits difficult issues like poverty, gender equality, and ethics, then this is the right choice.